I think ass eating is the new hotness. Every show I watch lately has to prove its’ edginess with a hardcore ass eating scene. I’m not a prude. So long as everyone is loofahed and agreeable, I say have your fun. But I don’t know if I need to see an actor nose deep while settling down on the sofa with a mug of sleepytime tea.
Thanks to a friend, I now have access to HBO Go. Which of course means I am binge watching all the shows I normally have to wait to see. Number one on the list is the latest season of Girls. Straight away in the first episode, Ebon Moss-Bachrach has his face buried, and I mean BURIED, in Allison Williams ass. Cheeks shaking, facial features absorbed in flesh- there is no faking that level of intimacy. I love the rawness of the show, but I questioned the line between legitimate acting and prostitution or pornography. I suppose the scene informs us about the character of Marnie who wants to be a traditional good girl but makes choices to the contrary. She judges everyone else’s scandalous indiscretions, meanwhile having plenty of her own. But I still have to wonder, is ass eating now considered part of the skill set of being an actor? Is the show that was championed as opening so many doors for women making it that much easier to sexualize and objectify them? Is this ass to mouth content germane to the story? Couldn’t they just give me the gist?
Perhaps they are just trying to give us sex in all of its messy, dirty, authentic glory. But really, does anyone actually have this Emmy-style, Oscar-worthy sex? I guess I’m not the only one wondering about this, because I came across this article by Hannah Baxter.
Talking about women having sex on film, Baxter wrote:
“Amidst all of these flattering depictions of female lovers, it seems prudent to mention how often (and by that I mean always) they get off on pretty straightforward intercourse with their partners. Fifty Shades bondage gimmicks aside, most of these women orgasm strictly from vaginal penetration, which, if you put your faith in the American Psychological Association, occurs in only 8% of women. EIGHT PERCENT. So if that was accurately translated into Hollywood, and you saw 20 films last year that depicted a woman having only vaginal sex, only 1.6 of them would have actually had an orgasm. And that .6 was probably faking.”
I guess I should be applauding Girls for showing that women need stimulation other than an erection to reach orgasm. But my inner June Cleaver still thinks ewww.
I worry about all these Hollywood depictions of sex, and what they are saying to our young women who are coming of age in a time of sexting, bleached assholes, Girls Gone Wild and Fifty Shades of Grey. Again, I must not be the only one concerned. During her 2009 TED Talk, Cindy Gallop said:
“I date younger men, predominantly men in their 20s. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men. And when I save sex with younger men, I encounter the real ramifications of the ubiquity of hardcore pornography in our culture. There’s an entire generation growing up that believes that what you see in hardcore pornography is the way that you have sex.
I have no problem responding ‘No, thank you, I’d much rather you did not come on my face.’ My concern is with the young girl who doesn’t want (her boyfriend) to come on her face, but hardcore porn has taught her that all men love coming on women’s faces…and therefore she must let him come on her face, and she must pretend to like it.”
Yes! My first major relationship started when I was a senior in high school and lasted for eight years. While I was not a virgin, I had almost no experience with sex outside of a couple of quick, fumbled encounters. I recall my ex talking about pornography- something I had not seen. He told me about his ex girlfriend who he described as looking like a Playboy bunny and being a nympho maniac. He regaled me with stories of her loud, high pitched screams during sex, nicknaming her “the dolphin.”
At no point did I think why is this asshole telling me about having sex with his ex-girlfriend? I simply internalized everything he said into a portrait of what a woman was supposed to do during sex. I never considered that perhaps he needed to be putting in more effort to illicit those eardrum bursting screams. I just did what I thought would make him think I was a good lover.
I didn’t realize I was setting up the entire relationship for a lie. Yes, women engage in the occasional fake out, but the precedent from the first encounter was that he needed only to minimally exert himself, and I would be driven wild. I tried backing down and initiating more truthful responses, but the issue was never about what he was doing wrong. It became “what’s wrong with you? You normally love this.” When I did finally get the gumption to tell him I had been engaging in my own eight year long acting stint, the admission was not met with a golden statue for my performance. Rather, he was pissed and hurt, and we ended things shortly after.
Sometimes graphic depictions of sexuality can be liberating and even necessary. During the first season of Girls I was ecstatic to see Lena Dunham fully nude. As a woman with an average body, with flab, wrinkles, stretch marks, and cellulite, it was cathartic to see a body on the hottest show in television representing something outside of airbrushed genetic freak perfection. I wanted to scream in elation, point at the screen and shout “YES! Normal woman are beautiful, and sexy, and worthy of attention!!”
I don’t know. Maybe there is some community out there sighing with relief and saying “Finally! A realistic portrayal of ass play on popular television!”
I’m sure it’s the mom in me, but I think of Brian Williams watching Girls, proud papa beaming at his daughter’s role on such a pivotal show, and being subjected to his little girl’s O-face as her costar is nose deep. I guess I can just hold out hope that my children do not want to become actors, and opt for veterinary school or dental college instead. Of course, by then this sexualized culture will be so prevalent, my dentist will probably be wearing a side thong while giving me a root canal. Bring on the nitrous.